WELL NOTES

Keeping you up-to-date on all things Wellness...

Want to stay informed on the latest news and goings on in the wellness industry? Well Notes, our blog keeps you up-to-date on all things wellness.

We have split our blog into two categories, Spotlight and Health Fix.

SPOTLIGHT – Want to know the latest happenings in the wellness industry? This section of the blog puts the ‘spotlight’ on industry movers and shakers, new workouts and restaurants as well as the latest brands.

HEALTH FIX – Are you in need of a Health Fix? This section of the blog features informative pieces which debunk wellness myths and gives expert advice on certain topics. If there is a specific topic you want covering please do get in touch!

WE ARE ON THE GUARDIAN TALKING ABOUT HOW TO STAY HEALTHY WHEN DOING SHIFT WORK!

Check out the latest piece on the Guardian all about how to stay healthy when doing shift work featuring top tips from Well Aware…

Our experts Anna Percy-Davis and Suzy Reading explain the best practices for staying on top of your mental health and physical wellbeing whilst doing shift work…

Eat well

When the clock strikes midnight, your body tells you to sleep, not to eat lunch, which is why shift work can play havoc with your dietary health.

“Make sure the fridge is stocked with healthy choices,” says Suzy Reading, a chartered psychologist. “One way to do this is by cooking meals in batches and reheating them through the week.” She also recommends taking pre-prepared meals with you if it’s difficult to get healthy options at work.

Enjoy a social life

If you work unsocial hours, including weekends, it can be hard to fit in a social life. But stressing about it isn’t good for your mental health or your relationships, says Anna Percy-Davis, executive and careers coach at Well Aware. “When it comes to enjoying time with friends and family around awkward shift work hours, quality rather than quantity needs to be the focus,” she says.

Percy-Davis suggests finding ways to spend time together, while ensuring that those closest to you appreciate that you may be tired or your time with them is going to be limited. “This does not mean you have to act like a martyr or that you expect loads of sympathy,” she says. “It’s about making those moments when you are together fun and enough rather than stressed and guilt-inducing. Time with family and friends requires more effort when you are a shift worker but it is not impossible.”

For the full article go to the Guardian website.

WELL AWARE LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAMMES!

We have been meticulously working to ensure we provide the most successful and innovative services. Our aim has always been to help workforces be as efficient as possible. By constantly assessing our work, we have been able to create 4 core programmes which we feel address common workplace issues. Check out our new brochure for more information…

For more information or to receive your own copy of our brochure, please email info@wellawareuk.com

Parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt

Paul Sinton-Hewitt is the brains behind parkrun, who organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. These events take place throughout the year, in wind, rain or shine. Parkrun encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; everyone is welcome. We catch up with Paul to pick his brains about this fantastic initiative…

Paul, you share the same philosophy as us about helping people to become healthier, and specifically in the case of parkrun helping people get active for free… how did parkrun come about?

I started parkrun in 2004 because I selfishly wanted to make sure that I saw my friends every week. I was suffering depression at the time and felt the best way out of my negative situation was to regularly keep in touch with my running friends. The event itself in Bushy Park, Teddington was intended to be low-key and simple. These are still some of the founding principles that bind parkrunners across the world

And how many parkrun’s have now been set up around the world?

Thirteen years and a name change later, there are over 1,100 parkruns a week, in fourteen countries, with over three million registered parkrunners. A new parkrunner registers every 29 seconds. Our 2k junior parkrun is also expanding rapidly.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start exercising and being more active?

When starting exercise for the first time it can often be difficult. Exercise if best when its regular and often. So the best advice is to try to make whatever you are doung fun an joyful. Starting out try to manage the effort so that you balance the joy with the effort. As you progress and as the excersize becomes a habit then you will find another gear and this will encourage you to try harder propelling you further towards your personal goals.

Do you have any training tips who are about to embark on their first event?

The great thing about parkrun is that no one needs to train for their first event. As you can walk, jog or run our events then everyone can achieve this without being trained. Some of our courses offer multiple laps which means that anyone struggling can opt out after one or even two laps. This also means that these folks can build up to completing the full 5k.

 

And in terms of injury, do you have any tips you can give us?

The best advice I can give is not to get injured in the first place. This is often easier said than done. If you are a beginner then the most common form of injury is probably an over-use injury. When folks are new to an activity or sport, they can get very excited about their progress and this can drive them to progresss too quickly. My best advice is to take your time about progressing to the next level. Be happy with small increments in either speed or time and try to only change one important factor at any time (don’t increase your speed and distance at the same time).

We understand you took on the Two Oceans Ultramarathon, is that the hardest race you’ve done to date?

Yes, probably. Whenever you step up to a new distance or when you try to run faster than you have done before then its likely to be difficult. The Two Oceans Marathon is 56k long and this was 10k longer that I had ever run before. Fortunately, its also one of the Worlds most beautiful marathos in the world and so the suffering was well worth it.

Do you record your runs? If so, what app/piece of kit do you use?

All my runs are recorded on Garmin and Strava. Strava ia my favorite site for recording actif=vity because not only does it provide the best information but its also a great social platform.

Do you ever lack the motivation to lace up your trainers and get outside. If so, what do you do to counteract this?

Yes, everyone faces situations like this. When I am de-motivated, I will probably reduce the distance of my run and definitely the speed. I try to get outside because no matter what the weather you will find the countryside or parks motivating in their own right. If you do some activity/exercise on a regular basis in nice suroundings then you are likely to rejuvenate your motivation in the shortest possible time.

And what do you eat to fuel up before and after a race?

It depends on the race. For a short race I might not fuel at all. If the exercise extends beyond an hour then I will try to have museli or porridge before the run.

Who do you look up to in the health and fitness industry, whether it’s a runner, athlete or sporting professional?

That’s so difficult these days. What with all the unsportsmanlike doping going on it is very difficult to know who is a cheat and who isn’t. I

I think the Brownlee brothers might just be the athletes who we can all look up to with confidence.

Quick fire round…

Treadmill or Pavement? Pavement

Hill sprints or Marathon? Marathon

Weights or Cardio? Cardio

Early-riser or night owl? Early-riser

Olympic Park or Hyde Park? Hyde Park

Mo Farah or Usain Bolt? Usain Bolt

And here are some exciting stats about parkrun to date…

Number of events: 87,804

Number of runners: 1,350,192

Number of runs: 16,108,719

Number of locations: 456

Number of clubs: 4,514

To find your nearest parkrun visit the parkrun website.

Healthy Hacks for Very Busy People

Health is what I live and breath, and yet I don’t have time – no, let’s be clear – I do not care for chia seed puddings, soaking beans overnight, juicing things, or adding a million different ingredients for a meal that takes about 30 seconds to eat. I am too busy for this. And this is not an excuse. I work 7 days a week, fit the gym in 4 times per week, track my macros, see my friends and family, attend to all my life admin and manage to keep my boyfriend happy. I am a very busy person. And I choose to do health differently.

Here are my a few of my healthy hacks…

  • Embrace your microwave – many people seem to be anti this cooking device, and each to their own, but it can save you valuable time and still produce tasty, healthy food. I like to buy small portion size packets of broccoli, runner beans and brussel sprouts. You simply pierce the bag and it will steam cook in your microwave. The same goes for rice – buy portion size packets and place in the microwave for one minute! TIP: when it comes to veg, cook it for slightly less than recommended on the pack if, like me, you like your veg to be a little more crunch and a little less mush.
  • Cook in bulk – Any time I turn the oven on it is to cook in bulk. If I am going to cook one portion of sweet potato, or one chicken breast I may as well cook several portions of each. Doing this means you have freshly cooked food you can quickly grab when hunger strikes, or, that you can divvy up into smaller tupperwares ready to take out into the world. If you are at home watching tv, putting kids to bed or cleaning etc, then you are able to put the oven on – end of.
  • Plan ahead – Sounds pretty obvious, but I recommend taking a look at your week ahead and scheduling your gym/exercise time. Yes your diary appointments may move and change, but if you have a set day and time to workout you are far more likely to keep to it.
  • Don’t make life more stressful – I personally do not want the bother of carrying my work clothes, wash bag, make up kit and any hair stuff in order for me to get ready after the gym in the morning. My preference is to workout in the morning when I am working from home, or workout after my meetings are done. This is my preference and it means I carry a lot less around with me, and I feel a lot calmer. Stress produces cortisol, and cortisol (long story short) makes us hold fat. This tip applies to many other areas of my life. For example, I won’t go out to a party/meal/do/anything unless I really have to or I really want to. Nope, sorry. Sometimes saying yes to everything just adds more stress. Don’t be a martyr.
  • Sleeping is coolThe more sleep you get the more productive you will be the next day. If you are a very busy person you will need to be productive 90% of the time, probably. So, try to set a regular sleep schedule (even across your weekend) – I go to bed at 10 every night. Start to wind your brain down closer to bedtime – this could be through having a bath, reading a book, meditating, listening to calming music. Whatever works for you. Then have a regular time that you wake up. I am usually up at 6am, and give myself time to have a good breakfast and coffee before I start another busy day.

Author

Zoe Tansey, Managing Partner of Well Aware

Zoe works across health at an individual, community and system-wide level. Whilst completing a masters in Public Health, Zoe worked across the London Borough of Hackney and The City of London Corporation as a Public Health Practitioner. At City, Zoe led the workplace health initiative Business Healthy, which engaged employers in the square mile to invest in their employees health and wellbeing. Zoe has also worked on the strategy and implementation of system-wide health organisation transformation within the UK.

Zoe co-develops the Well Aware sessions and programmes, and is the lead on Well Aware’s research development. Zoe has a strong background in qualitative research and analysis, including her masters dissertation – a qualitative ethnography on how employers perceive workplace health interventions.

As a qualified personal trainer Zoe also helps individuals with their health goals.